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FSM 281       DO
Beauty for Ashes--Testimonies from the Aftermath of the Austin Accident
© December 1995, The Family, Zurich, Switzerland

       ({\ul \i Editor's note}: As explained in "From Tragedy to Triumph in Austin!" [EDITED: "ML #3003, GN 643"], Mama asked Peter to go to Austin, bearing a special message for the departed teens' families and the survivors from the Lord and Dad and her. Joining Peter was Sharon [EDITED: "formerly Sara Davidito"], who stayed on to help for three weeks until Jesse, the last survivor to be released from the hospital, was settled into a Family Home. During that time the Lord did many wonderful works, which we publish here with a voice of thanksgiving! [EDITED: "See Psa.26:7."] For the most part, the following excerpts from Sharon's daily log cover testimonies and details not included in the four Austin GNs. We pray they will be an inspiration and strength to you, draw you closer to Him and give you an even greater appreciation for the wonderful Family He has given us!)

       (Sharon:) In Austin I saw the Lord answer our April 1st Day of Pentecost prayers for the Spirit of Love! I can't find words to express how special it was to see the Family pouring such love and outgoing concern upon one another. God's new anointing of more love and dedication was manifested in the dear Family members there as they served one another sacrificially and wholeheartedly. Many of those who gathered in Austin had not even known each other before, yet they were instantly and marvelously united as they prayed for, comforted and assisted other members who were struggling to survive! What a wonderful, wonderful Family we have!

Miracle Meeting
       Thursday, July 20: As Peter and I took our seats on a plane for the final leg of our journey to Austin, a blonde-haired seven-year-old took the window seat next to us. He turned out to be the sweetest little guy you could ever imagine! We had seen him and his daddy and four brothers and sisters in the terminal as we were checking in. They looked like Family, and our hunch had been confirmed as we watched the father situate the kids before taking his place in the check-in line. "This will only take a few minutes," he told them. "Please sit here and be good samples." And they were! The 12-year-old girl had the full cooperation of her four younger brothers and sisters and did a wonderful job of keeping them occupied and happy, especially the two- and four-year-old girls.
       Apparently there weren't six seats together by the time this family checked in, because this little boy, who soon introduced himself as David, was seated with us, and his OC brother was two rows up. His daddy and the two little girls were five or six rows behind us, and the 12-year-old girl (Lara) was sitting across the aisle from them.
       David had a stick of sugarless gum in his hand and wriggled it back and forth as he read the emergency manual before take-off. I offered to explain the emergency rules, and that led to a conversation that went something like this:
       "Do you live in Austin?" I asked.
       "No, we live in New Orleans." He was friendly and outgoing, and had no problem conversing with me, a perfect stranger. "We're going to Austin to see a grave. My sister died and went to Heaven." Then looking down, he continued: "When my daddy first told me, I just walked around the house and thought, `I don't like this.' Then my brother Tommy and I decided that Joanna must really still be around, because we still felt her around. It was like she was playing with us. So we thought, `Maybe she is in the closet!' We ran and opened the closet, but she wasn't in there!"
       I commended him for being so brave about his sister going to Heaven, and David explained, "I have been crying every night. Last night was the first night I didn't cry."
       Hearing that, it was all I could do to keep from crying too. "You know, sweet boy, you are taking this very well," I finally managed to get out. "I am impressed with your good attitude."
       "Are you a Christian?" he asked. I could tell he was about to go for it, Salvation and all!
       "Yes, I am," I said.
       Having established that, his next question was, "Do you know the Family?"
       "Yes," I answered, "I love the Family!"
       "Do you have a poster? I get out the posters!" He was so proud of his job for the Lord that I had to fight even harder to hold back the tears.
       The plane began to taxi for take-off, so I asked, "Would you like to pray for a good take-off? I always pray when flying in airplanes." At that, David took my hand and prayed a beautiful little prayer.
       Then he went on to explain, "I never chew gum, not even sugarless gum. But today my daddy wanted us to chew this gum to help our ears."
       "That's really good," I said. "Is your daddy's name John?"
       "How did you know?" he asked.
       "Well, at the airline counter we checked in together. Is your mother's name Charity?"
       "Yes," he said as he cocked his head to get a better look at me. "Hey, you sound like the lady on the [EDITED: "GAP"] videos!"
       At that, I turned and whispered to Peter, "We're busted!" He laughed and gave me the go-ahead to explain who we were and what we were up to.
       "You know, David, I am the lady on the videos. My name was Auntie Joy when I did those videos, but I'm really Auntie Sara."
       Peter leaned over and said, "And I'm Uncle Peter."
       "This is shocking!" David said as he took a better look at both of us.
       "David, this is so special," I told him. "I'm so excited! I think your sisters are also excited and may have had something to do with all this." (I found out later that at the time David only knew that one and not two of his sisters had gone to Heaven, which is why he only referred to Joanna earlier.)
       "David, do you think you could do us a favor?" Peter asked. "Could you tell your daddy that you met some people from the Family who would like to talk to him, and ask if you could trade seats with him for a while?"
       Then John (formerly Malachi Teacher) joined us and I moved over to the window seat so he could sit between Peter and me. After we introduced ourselves, Peter explained our visit. Since we didn't yet know how the Lord would lead once we reached Austin, Peter asked John not to tell anyone about our encounter except his wife, Charity, who had been the only adult in the accident.

The Fruit of the Righteous
       (Later:) After we met the parents and other brothers and sisters of the teens involved in the accident, we understood why the Lord arranged for us to meet little David on the plane: He was a personification of all the families involved. Each of the kids we met in those families are precious and we fell in love with them instantly. Every parent, every teen, every child is so beautifully dedicated and really loves Jesus! They love to witness and they do so faithfully--every one of them. They are a select bunch of real missionaries! David was obviously the fruit of the righteous, and so are all the others. We had the distinct impression that every family involved in the accident was specially chosen to be honored by the Lord.
       This was actually my first big lesson. Lord forgive me, I think I may have hastily passed judgment in my own heart about why the Lord allowed this accident. I wondered if the teens had been goofing off or why the Lord would deal so heavily with them and their families. I felt just horrible about that attitude after meeting the people involved. From all reports, the teens in the accident were all very loving, sold-out, and on-fire witnessers. So are their parents and all their brothers and sisters. The teens, by the way, were in the middle of their best witnessing of the whole summer when the accident happened.

Love Repaid
       Friday, July 21: We arrived in Austin last night. On the ride from the airport and later at the hotel where others had provisioned rooms for us, Abi and Abner began to fill us in on the situation. They had some amazing and heart-touching stories to tell, some of which I'll try to recapture here.
       While out witnessing the day before the accident, Charity and Kristina (one of the teens who went to Heaven) had met Shelley, a 28-year-old mother whose husband had just left her, forcibly taking their children with him. Shelley was on her face crying out to God in desperation when Charity and Kristina knocked on her door. She got marvelously saved and filled with the Holy Spirit and had a tremendous on-the-spot transformation! Charity and Kristina spent the whole day ministering to Shelley. I imagine they may have wondered later if they'd done the right thing, spending the whole day on just one person. Their love and time was soon repaid, and in a most wonderful way!
       The next day when Shelley heard about the accident on the news, she went straight to the hospital and stood vigil at the bedsides of the teens who were in comas. "These people changed my life," Shelley told everyone in the hospital as she witnessed to them. Shortly, Shelly's mother Brenda joined her. There was no Family Home in Austin, so until the families of the injured teens could be notified and make the long trip to Austin, Shelley and Brenda went from bed to bed taking care of our kids. They were a wonderful help during this time. The Lord raised up parents to stand in the gap. Hallelujah!
       Shelley's story was very special, but hers wasn't the only life the teens had touched in their recent witnessing. Many others whom the road team had witnessed to or met provisioning sent their condolences, attended the funeral or spoke to the press. They all had only wonderful things to say about the teens.

Austin Comes to Family's Aid
       Now, five days after the accident, nearly all of the parents of the road trip teens have come to Austin. All but one family are staying at the Ronald McDonald House. (Charity had already been discharged from the hospital and John and Charity and kids are staying in a hotel with relatives.) The Ronald McDonald House (which we call the Ronald House for short) is a special project of the McDonalds hamburger chain. In Austin and a few other U.S. cities, McDonalds operates free hostels for the parents of hospitalized children. The Ronald House in Austin is just a short walk from the hospital where our injured teens are being treated.
       It is a totally furnished little hotel with about 20 rooms, complete with a well-equipped kitchen, laundry room, game room, two playrooms for kids, VCRs, and a free long-distance telephone within certain hours. Volunteers bring in food each day. There is always prepared food available, and anyone is free to help themselves. The place is also full of people who really need the Lord's Love and comfort! Only the immediate families of children in the hospital are allowed to actually stay at the Ronald House. Visitors, such as the many other Family members who are in town at present, are welcome throughout the day, but cannot stay late or overnight.
       (Later:) By one count there were 98 Family members in Austin for the funeral and/or the three weeks that passed before Jesse was released from the hospital. Miraculously, everyone except the parents of the injured teens (who stayed at the Ronald House) were housed by concerned citizens, mostly Christian families, or at provisioned hotels.
       The small provisioning team really laid down their lives for us the whole time we were there, right up to the end, provisioning hotel rooms and meals, and helping to follow up on the families that put up Family members, etc. After we had all moved on, four YAs from Houston made a special trip to Austin in order to thank everybody who helped us with rooms or meals. At the Ronald House, they pitched in to help with some heavy cleaning and handyman work.
       Esther David was attending a Ho Family reunion in Houston at the time of the accident, and their whole family came to help. She testified: "When Jondy [EDITED: "Ho"] and my kids were in Austin, we stayed with different Christian families. That was an interesting experience in itself. We got a lot of input from the Christian community and what they thought about the accident, which had a very big impact on them.
       "The first couple of families we stayed with remarked that the accident had a big influence on the Christian community, and united them as a whole. Also, the fact that all of the girls were buried in Austin had a special significance for the Christians there. It made them really sit up and take notice. `What is God going to do here now?' they asked. `Why have we been chosen?' They felt that special aura that is present when God comes in and takes total control. Another Christian woman said on behalf of her church, `We really want to thank you, because this is the first time that the press in Austin has ever said anything favorable about God or Jesus. It's an amazing breakthrough! It is wonderful to look at a newsstand and see something good about Jesus.'"
       Esther continued, "The Ronald House was basically transformed into a Family Combo for the days surrounding the funeral, except that in addition to Family members, there were lots of visiting relatives and friends of the Family and friends of relatives. Newscasts mentioned that the families of the accident victims were staying at the Ronald House, so people who had never even heard of the Family before the accident also came to offer their condolences. Normally only a few parents of other hospitalized children who stay at the Ronald House bring their other kids with them, whereas we brought a whole community with us! God bless the staff of the Ronald House, who took this all in stride and were very, very good to us!
       "It was amazing!--Just one big sweet fellowship and witnessing opportunity from morning till night. Everyone pitched in to help in the kitchen or wherever needed, and there was a beautiful free spirit of cooperation and fellowship. There was no concern as to who was in the Family and who wasn't, who was TS and who was DO, who was a leader and who was not; we were all just fellows in the same ship. The beautiful Spirit of God's Love and power and overcoming grace seemed to permeate this situation and was felt by everyone present, amazing us all and bonding everyone, even outsiders.
       "In fact, this amazing anointing of the Lord's Love upon this situation even seemed to affect nearly everyone we met in Austin during this time. Wherever we went, when others learned we were friends and family of the teens in the accident, their hearts were very touched and very open and sympathetic, and they most readily offered their help. I've never seen a situation before in which an entire city such as Austin (which has been well-known to be very `New Age' oriented, hardened to the Gospel and resistant to the Family's previous pioneering attempts) has seemed to have such a sudden change of heart. We were constantly amazed, and acknowledged that there was something truly very special in the Spirit happening to this city." (End of Esther's comments.)
       (Sharon:) Two sets of 10:36 parents have also been won through this situation; both were grandparents of teens who passed away in the accident. Jesse's aunt, who once tried to have Jesse's dad, John Mark deprogrammed, was likewise touched by the Lord's Love. At first she could not understand and was agitated by the fact that Family members other than Jesse's flesh relatives were caring for him in the intensive care unit (ICU). She was soon won by the Family's sacrificial and supernatural love for one another, and is now much more friendly. After spending a week with her visiting Jesse in ICU and all we went through together, she seemed almost like a sister.

Peter Meets the Parents and Survivors
       Before the funeral, Peter and I went to the Ronald House to meet the parents, as well as the three teens who had already been released from the hospital--Stephen, John and Juan David. It was wonderful to be able to see them all before the funeral--the Lord's perfect timing! A number of them remarked to us later that our visit had encouraged them greatly, helped them see things more positively and provided a way of escape from the mournful spirit of other relatives present. It seems that this was especially helpful to the parents who gave eulogies of their departed daughters. "We felt the Lord's Love manifested through Mama sending Peter to love and comfort us. That made all the difference in the world," one of them said.
       Everyone was very surprised to meet Peter, of course. Some parents said, "We didn't even know Mama or the Family knew about the accident! We thought we were all on our own!" It is hard to describe how special it was to meet these wonderful parents at this time. Nearly all are Family members we had never personally met before, yet we had an instant connection in the Spirit and strong, deep love! It was almost as if they were receiving a part of their reward right there in meeting Peter and receiving his warm loving embrace and prayers.
       ({\ul \i Editor}'{\ul \i s note}: For details of the funeral, which Peter and Sharon did not attend for security reasons, please see Rose's report in "From Tragedy to Triumph in Austin," ML #3003:17-22, GN 643).

Peter Visits Jesse
       After the funeral, Peter and I went with Jesse's father, John Mark, to see Jesse in the ICU. Knowing how sensitive I am to suffering, Abner and Abi suggested that it might be best if I didn't even see Jesse in such an injured state. (At this point he was nearly covered with bandages, his broken leg was in traction and tubes connected him to various life-support machines.) I felt led to go ahead, however, and as soon as I saw him the Lord poured on the grace. Although he was severely injured and in a coma, it was just so special to be there with him! Peter and I both prayed over him.
       Then Peter talked with John Mark, who explained that when he first arrived at the ICU there were no other Family members there and he felt utterly alone. He thanked Peter over and over for his encouragement and support. John Mark also told Peter that he has felt Joy, his 17-year-old daughter who died in the accident, helping him and Jesse a lot during the last few days!

Peter Ministers to Parents and Survivors
       Saturday, July 22: The busy, packed-out pace here reminds me of being in the midst of persecution. The situation is different, of course, but the many unexpected turns our days take; the involvement with the media, lawyers, relatives, hospital staff, and other outsiders; and the pressing needs everywhere often keep all hands on deck till late at night. Some of us are running on our reserves, praying on the run and not getting much Word time, but we trust our present emergency will be over soon and we will be able to return to a more balanced schedule.
Peter's afternoon meeting with the parents and survivors (except Jesse) was the first time that they were able to all be together and away from the hospital, relatives, doctors, etc. They all had a wonderful time praising, singing and uniting in prayer and fellowship. It was like Heaven for them!
       Our teen girls who graduated were also there in spirit, and some parents testified how they had seen them, heard them speaking words of encouragement, or felt their hugs! I was sitting next to one of the parents when a prophecy was read in which his teen daughter spoke, "Hi, Dad! I love you! Please don't worry about me, I am so happy Here!" It was very moving!
       I was also deeply touched as I watched the JETTs and teens listen intently to Mama's words of love, and then hold, comfort and reassure their parents. Like all kids, I'm sure these have had their ups and downs. But in this crisis situation, they have all shone beautifully! They are so committed and mature, and the Lord used them wonderfully as loving supports to their parents and other adults.
       ({\ul \i Editor}'{\ul \i s note}: For more details about Peter's meeting with the survivors and their families, please see "From Tragedy to Triumph in Austin," ML #3003:24-27, GN 643.)

In Their Darkest Hour, Family Members Shine!
       It was also very touching for us to hear what each family has gone through so far. For example, Pedro and Maria Peruvian, Juan David's parents, drove for two days and two nights with four of their eight children from Raleigh, North Carolina, over 1,000 miles away. They had received a call from the hospital informing them that Juan was in a coma and was not expected to live. They heard no further news of his condition until they arrived in Austin. By that time, Juan had miraculously come out of the coma and was doing fine. The doctors and nurses say they were initially more concerned about Juan's condition than Jesse's, as Juan had a much worse head injury.
       The hospital staff can scarcely believe how quickly he has recovered! They refer to him as "the miracle boy." No Family members were present when he woke up, but the nurses told us that when he came out of the coma and was told about the accident and deaths of the five girls, he praised the Lord non-stop for the next two hours. They were amazed!
       The hospital was also not sure that 16-year-old Stephen would live. An airline gave his father, Philip, "imminent death" priority booking. Philip arrived to see his son up and around, and being a wonderful help to the others--another absolute miracle!
       Stephen was sitting on the middle seat of the van and was thrown through the windshield. He was knocked out for a while, and was taken to the hospital by helicopter. After he came out of shock and regained full consciousness, three different people came to thank him for leading them to Jesus after the crash. Stephen doesn't even remember witnessing to them! The nurse who stitched his mouth said that it had been impossible to get him to stop talking. He kept telling her that the most important thing was not his mouth, but that she get into Heaven! When he first came to in the emergency room, he kept telling the nurses, "Don't help me, I'm fine! Go help the others! Leave me alone and help the others!" The hospital staff couldn't figure him out. They'd never seen a seriously injured accident victim be so concerned for others!
       Esther David and I spent extra time with Estrella. I had a special message of love that Mama had sent to share with Estrella. Knowing that she was still in quite a bit of pain with a broken collarbone and ribs, etc., we both wanted to inspire her faith for healing. I told her about how Jesus healed my back and delivered me from all the things the doctors said I would suffer, including never being able to have children. The Lord sent an angel to assure me of my healing and then performed the miracle. My testimony seemed to really encourage her. ({\ul \i Editor}'{\ul \i s note}: Sharon's testimony of how the Lord healed her of scoliosis, a crippling curvature of the spine, is included on the tape "When the Impossible Becomes Possible!--Part 2.")
       We prayed against fear and also over her pelvis, ribs and collarbone, anointing each part with oil. It was a very sweet time as we talked about how to fight the Enemy and fear with the Word. I shared my favorite fighting verses, and she promised to really go on the attack against those fears. She has had to overcome a lot of pain and trials, God bless her! Incidentally, Estrella had moved to the New Orleans Home just two days before the road trip.
       Precious Charity is the mother of nine. She is super banged up, but beautiful in spirit and a dynamic witness. A female hospital chaplain was with Charity for eight hours shortly after the accident. The chaplain testified later that she had never met anyone who knew the Bible so well. Barely conscious, Charity quoted her verses, chapters and Psalms one after another. The doctors called Charity the strongest-willed person they have ever seen. At the scene of the accident, as soon as Charity came to, the rescue team told her not to move. Charity said later she felt she had to get away from the wreckage, so she pulled herself out and sat on the curb with John. She barely remembers this happening.
       The first time I met Charity, before the parent's united meeting with Peter, in only a few minutes she poured out about all she had gone through in the last six months. She said that during that time she felt she was in a worse state spiritually than the battered physical state she is in now; never had she been so desperate in her life. She says that it was only the new Word that had kept her, reading and re-reading the latest GNs, memorizing promises, and writing out key quotes in a notebook.
       Then the accident happened. She doesn't remember the collision at all. She only recalls sitting on the curb afterwards, dazed, and talking to someone who was questioning her. Then she went into shock. Next, she remembers riding in the ambulance and arriving at the hospital where she came to more fully and was told what happened.
       She said she had to fight such overwhelming condemnation that she had failed by not being more watchful, and for not checking that the teens were all wearing their seat belts. She said they had really prayed on their road trip, and that they had had wonderfully fruitful witnessing together. The Lord told her to just hold on and wait, that everything was going to be okay. She told Peter and me, "Now meeting you two, sent to us by Mama, confirms that everything is going to be all right! The Lord has answered all my prayers and more!" Such victory! She prayed a moving prayer at the burial, which was a real witness.
       Today John Mark told me how he helped Jesse and the other teens from Canada make the trip from Toronto to New Orleans. It was all Jesse's idea to get the teens together and drive south to meet up with the teens from New Orleans, and the Charter set them free to take off as their own team. John Mark had helped the team get a van, and Philip, Stephen's dad, had provisioned a paint job and all. That was in June, when the parents and teens in Canada all got together for family time and close fellowship before the teens left. It was a real family affair! How touching to realize that all of the families involved have been closely united. Now, in this trying situation, their love and unity gives them such strength.
       Later, Peter called the mothers who weren't able to come. They are John Mark's first wife, Rose (formerly Kendra), who is the mother of teens Jesse, John and departed Joy; John Mark's present wife, Hope, who is due to have a baby any day now; and Philip's wife. That was very special for them all.

Lawyer Donates Her Services
       Sunday, July 23: Shortly after the accident, a lawyer named Valerie offered her services for free. She is the sister of David (of Claire) in Houston, and a very good friend. For nearly a week she has been working overtime to help prepare us for possible legal charges. She is a joy to work with, as she praises and thanks the Lord with us for every victory. God bless her! Today she and two Family members visited the scene of the accident. Valerie agreed with most residents of the area that it would have been very easy for Jesse to run the stop sign. The intersection is badly marked and there have been over a dozen accidents there--ours being by far the worst. The accident was the lead story on local newscasts for days, and it seems that many people in Austin are up in arms about this dangerous intersection. (LNF: Since then, there has been another fatal accident at this same crossing!)

Comforting Others--2Cor.1:4
       Tonight I met John H., his wife and their daughter when they all came to visit Jesse. John is the sweet Christian who, after hearing about the accident, sought us out to try to be a comfort. ({\ul \i Editor}'{\ul \i s note}: See "From Tragedy to Triumph in Austin," ML #3003:22.) Just five months ago, John lost two of his three children when his 15-year-old son took his two younger sisters, also young teens, on a joy ride. They were involved in a deadly accident which was the boy's fault. The daughter who survived was in a coma, like Jesse, but is now completely healed except for a few minor scars.
       Right after our teens' accident, when John H. first came looking for us at the hospital, he brought with him a long letter of comfort that he had written to Jesse and the families of the departed teens. The following excerpt is especially inspiring, as it bears some striking similarities to things that our five Heaven's Girls (as we call our teens who graduated in the accident) have told their parents in prophecy. John H. attributes this conversation to his imagination, but perhaps his two kids were actually communicating with him from the Other Side!

       Jesse, if I could build a magic ladder that reached to Heaven and I got Up There and was able to find my son Patrick and my daughter Roxann, I could not convince them to come back to Earth. I can see them now and know what I would say, and their response. Here is how I think that conversation would go:
       Dad: Son, I am so sorry you died, I came Up Here to get you and take you back. The ladder is over there. Let's go, Son!
       Pat: Get real, Dad! You want me to leave this wonderful Place and come back with you? Can't you see how wonderful it is Here? I am having the time of my life! I don't want to go back down there! I love you, Dad! I miss you too. We will be together at the Rapture, or when you die. Then we will both be Here in this great Place forever! It won't seem so long after you get Here. Thanks for the offer, but see ya soon.
       Dad: Come on, Roxann, I love you so much, I am so sorry you died, I have come to get you. Let's go home.
       Roxann: I am Home, Dad! I love you, too, but I'm not going! I am learning from Jesus Himself! Dad, you say you are sorry I died; you are thinking of all the things I am missing back on Earth. Dad, even more so, I am sorry you are not Here yet! You are missing a thousand times more neat stuff than I am! Dad, what I am missing on Earth is nothing, nothing at all compared to the great life I have Here in Heaven. Thanks for coming, Dad, but there is no way I am going back down there. Tell our sister Tara I am sorry she is not with us. Tell Mom hi and give her a big hug. But, Dad, no way! No way am I going back there!
       Dad, before you go, there is one thing that keeps me from having the time of my life Up Here; I hate to hear how you guys are grieving over us. We are fine! Better than fine! We are in Heaven! Celebrate us, don't mourn for us! (End of excerpt from John H.'s letter.)

       Despite what he had written in his letter, John H. and his wife told us that they were still mourning their loss until they met John Mark, who helped them to see the Lord in what happened and to accept it as from God. I told them that I consider them and our parents who are now going through the same thing to be real heroes of faith. I also explained how the Lord greatly rewards that faith by drawing them closer to Him and reinforcing in them the real values of life--loving and helping others.
       Visiting our injured teens has also opened an incredibly huge and needy ministry of counseling and comforting others. Everywhere we turn, in hallways, elevators, ICUs and waiting rooms, we are surrounded by needy people that we just cannot pass up. We witness to patients, relatives, nurses and doctors. Then those we witness to refer us to others who need our help. I have never seen such a mission field! It never occurred to me before that in every hospital on the globe there are people who are thinking about life and death and God, people who are desperate and in tears and in prayer, even if they don't know or believe in God. Instant receptivity! "The Spirit of the Lord is upon us, that we may preach glad tidings to the poor and heal the brokenhearted" (Isa.61:1).

YAs Stand in the Gap!
       Monday, July 24: Today's main event is getting Stephen, Juan David and Estrella all off to a Home in Houston where arrangements are being made with new doctors for further treatment, therapy, etc. This also involves lots of paperwork, including the transferring of medical records, POAs, etc. Most of the parents are also about to return to their Homes or go to new Homes here in Texas.
       The YAs and teens who assisted them at the hospital did a terrific job. They not only provided comfort and fellowship, but were also Spirit-led in looking out for the injured teens. For example, once when a nurse came to give one of our teens medication, the YA present asked to see the patient chart and medication! "No, no," he told her, "you're in the wrong room! That guy is next door!" The nurse had mixed up two patients' charts and was about to give our teen the wrong medication! Thank the Lord, the YA caught the mistake just in time!
       Another time, a nurse had apparently heard about child abuse allegations brought against the Family in other parts of the world, and she asked Estrella if she had ever been abused. The YA caring for Estrella intervened. "You have no right to ask her a question like that," he told the nurse politely but firmly. "She is under medication and doesn't even remember her own name right now, or know where she is! How can you possibly expect her to answer such a question?" Then he asked Estrella if she wanted to answer the question, and Estrella said no.
       (Later: That was the first and last time any of us saw that nurse. She was the only antagonistic person we encountered at the hospital. Everyone else was very good to us!)
       As a final get-together before the three teens go to Houston, we got some ice cream for the survivors and staff teens the last night. They had some inspiration, watched a video, and had a real sweet time of fellowship, celebrating the many victories that have been won.
       David S. (YA, formerly Vas), the bass player on the Stand Up for Jesus TV show, was one of the first Family members on the scene and helped quite a bit at the hospital. He returned to Houston yesterday. I'll never forget how he cried when saying good-bye to Peter. David explained that he had been going through some rough times lately and used to be a "bad teen." But suddenly, when asked to help out with these teens in the accident, he learned firsthand what it means to serve one another in love. He said, "I wish every teen and YA in the Family could be here to experience such love and see the Lord move like this. I'll never forget this, ever!" He also explained that Brother Thomas had often prayed for him and told him, "Brother, you need to let the Lord break your heart." David said that this was the first time he had ever broken like that, when extending his thanks to Peter and Mama for trusting him to come here, which resulted in this life-changing experience of seeing sacrificial love in action.
* * *

The Comfort Ministry
       (Editor's note: Mama asked one of the WS units to pray and hear from the Lord for the team that was caring for the Austin survivors. In the following excerpts from the prophecies they received, the Lord indicated that He wants to give the Family a ministry of comfort. Many Homes have already experienced wonderfully fruitful ministries in hospitals and at relief shelters, etc., but apparently this is only the beginning! Praise the Lord!)

       (Prophecy:) "I have been as One Who wept with those that wept. For though I did heal Lazarus, when I heard, I wept. Therefore, you also should weep at the plight of those who are bereaved and broken in spirit, for the hurt that they see in their loved ones, or for the hurt that they suffer, and you should help and comfort as is needed.
       "And in this you can be a great testimony to others and you can reach many, many who need your help, who are in the hospitals, who come to the funerals, who are often touched by these events. For as ye weep with those that weep they will see My heart, that My heart is soft towards them, and they will come to Me. For the hard hearts must be broken, but they must also be mended. And through this I would teach My Family how to be a mender of hearts and a giver of comfort, for the sick and dying and for those who are left behind.
       "For as your queen did rejoice when David was taken from her, for the joy that he experienced, so you can cast a new light on all these events for those of the world that do know you, and it will be a sample and a testimony and a great help and comfort to many."

       "The needy ones are not only in the Family, but also outside the Family. Cast your burden on Me and go not forth in your own strength or even in the strength or burden of your own heart.
But be as that shepherd that plays his pipe sweetly on the hillside and calms the sheep and shows them that all things are well and that all things are in My hands."

       "For as in My Endtime it has been promised there will fall plague upon plague upon the ungodly, and David hath seen the pictures of masses of people afflicted, even so shall it be a time where comfort and healing will be needed. And in this time will gifts of healing and love come to the fore. Others will see your love, your compassion, and they will come to Me, and there will be a ministry for many of you through these times of desolation and destruction that are coming. For as you have been prophets in time of plenty and in times of prosperity, warning the world of the times to come, so as these times come you will be healers of wounds.
"At one time you cried, Woe, but when the woeful things do befall the people, you will be the ones who will be there to minister love. And this will give great faith, because they will see that you knew it would happen, and you are there to catch them as they fall, to heal and comfort and help with your words from Me. As times wax worse and worse, you will see more and more the need for your love and comfort to be spread throughout the world, to the ungodly. And as you, My Family, reach out to them, you will be given the gifts of comfort and of healing, which will draw them to Me. And these will be some of the miracles you will experience, as the last generation."
* * *

ICU Patients and Staff
       This evening while visiting Jesse, John Mark and I comforted Tomas, the brother of Jesse's ICU neighbor, Ramon. Tomas, who came up from Mexico, is Ramon's only relative here. Ramon was welding a section of a bridge when it fell on him and he crashed head first to the pavement. For 16 days and nights Tomas has been camping out in the hospital waiting room and sleeping on the floor. He cried today after the doctors told him Ramon probably does not have much longer to live. Tomas doesn't speak English and hardly any of the hospital staff speak any Spanish, so lack of communication has made his ordeal all the harder. I helped translate for Tomas, then we witnessed to him in Spanish, prayed with him for Ramon, and the YAs brought him some dinner.
       We also had real good talks with the nurses today and I witnessed to some of them while John Mark helped with Jesse. The nurses ask us a lot of questions, as it is obvious that we are much more than a church group; we are truly one big Family. They are surprised to see so many different Family members visit Jesse each time.
       Members of the rescue squad and emergency room personnel who took care of our teens and Charity had to take several days off afterwards for therapy and counseling. Today I had a long talk with Sandy, the head nurse who was on duty when the teens were brought to the ICU from the accident site, and I asked her about that. This was her answer:
       "I have been doing ICU work for 20 years and am considered hardened to my job. But this case was really tough! I'm still receiving therapy myself. That's because all five of the injured kids came in within 45 minutes, plus six people were killed. We usually get about five bad cases over a two-day period, not all on the same work shift. Then the fact that these were all such good kids, so young and strong, had quite a traumatic effect on all of us staff. Imagine arriving on the scene and seeing Bibles and guitars and Christian literature strewn all around the bodies of these young people. Everything was just perfectly calm and quiet. It was very different from other accident scenes. Even the injured were just sitting silently, not behaving like other people in such serious accidents. Look, I'm not religious at all, but as soon as I laid eyes on those kids, I knew they were safe in the hands of God!"
       Another member of the rescue team, a woman paramedic, prayed a beautiful prayer aloud at the funeral. She said that the site of our teens' accident was one of the worst scenes she had ever seen, but witnessing the Family's faith through it all had taught her lessons that would forever be with her and help her in her job.
       These ICU people are a whole mission field in themselves. Most of them are in their 20s and early 30s. Imagine their having to help such desperate people at all hours of the day and night! When Mama heard that the emergency crew was still undergoing therapy, she suggested that we offer to help assure them that everything is okay, and that we should make a point of thanking them for their help. When I extended that offer and thanks to Sandy, she was really touched and said that she would let each of the others know.
       I'm normally quite weak, emotional and sensitive myself, so I can hardly believe that I am in the ICU facing some of the worst medical cases imaginable, going bed to bed praying for people, and doing just fine! I'm sure that is because we are pouring out and praying all day, quoting the Word and praising too! We know it's only the Lord, and we're so thankful for His Love and grace that keep us! Despite the pressure and long hours, our witnessing keeps us flying high the whole time!

Miscellaneous News
       Tuesday, July 25: John Mark had suggested that we use a Walkman to give Jesse constant Word and song input when we can't be with him. After hearing this suggestion in a report, Mama and Peter asked us to buy Jesse one as a special gift from them, which we did today.
       Teen John still needs to have his knees and tendons operated on, so he has to lie in bed a lot to rest. Often he has wanted to accompany John Mark to visit Jesse, but with both legs wrapped in thick braces, the two-block walk to the hospital posed a major problem. We just learned, however, that because John is injured he can call for a police car assigned to the hospital to drive him back and forth between the hospital and the Ronald House. So John can now accompany us to see Jesse daily, thank the Lord! We witness to the police and tell them that according to Romans 13 they are ministers of God, which they really like. They all know about the accident from the news and hospital staff, and are always amazed that John even survived.
       After visiting Jesse this morning, I gathered all the Family kids at the Ronald House and told them some stories about Grandpa, Mama, David and Techi. It was real fun story time and gave the parents some time for legal business, errands and much needed rest.
       Just knowing how much the Lord and Mama love and care for Jesse and the others here, plus seeing the spiritual warfare involved, makes me want to give it my best! The prophecies have given us such faith that Jesse will not only come through, but be a wonderful testimony to many others. When visiting Jesse, Jondy prayed the verses, "He looked not at his own body as good as dead, and staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strong in faith, giving glory to God, being fully persuaded that what God had promised, He was able also to perform" (Hebrews 11:12; Romans 4:20,21). We sure depend on the Family's prayers!

He Sent His Word and Healed! (Psa.107:20)
       Wednesday, July 26: John Mark was about to suggest that we go ahead and read Mama's Letter to Jesse, despite his comatose state, when we received a message from Mama suggesting that very thing! Reading her message energized us both, and we had special prayer together beforehand as it was a real fight in the Spirit at this point.
       There in the waiting room, as we read over Mama's message together, I felt dear gentle Grandpa's presence. I felt him come to my side, hug me and say, "Honey, you prayed and fought for me so many times when I was sick, now please do the same for Jesse!" I just cried. That was just what I needed, and it was so very real! Thank You Jesus! Thank you Dad! I told John Mark, and from then on things were looking up! It seemed that no matter what the odds, the losses, the battles, as we went by faith the Lord did miracles all the rest of the day!
       During our 5 to 7 P.M. visit, we read about three pages of Mama's Letter to Jesse, even though he was still in a coma. It's hard to describe what a test of faith everything was at this point, as he had no visible reaction to this important message. Although we knew the Lord was going to heal him, we expected to be in for a long, hard fight to recovery! We had come to a point of utter desperation!
       And that's when the Lord did the miracle! Just a couple of hours later when we returned for our nine o'clock visit, we found Jesse awake and responding! He had decided to return! Praise the Lord! It was evident that he really got the message and received lots of love and reassurance from what we read from Mama's Letter earlier that evening. When I told him that Mama sent her love, he looked right at me with tears in his eyes. We are thrilled! I cried for joy several times during this visit because Jesse was doing so well. The Lord poured on the grace as John Mark and I took turns being overwhelmed with emotion and helping each other.
       The Lord truly did a miracle in bringing Jesse out of the coma, but he still faces an uphill fight for his total healing. The nurse on duty also explained to us that after some coma patients come to, they drift away again, so we really need to keep praying for him!
       (Later:) Although Jesse did not lapse back into a coma as the nurse cautioned might happen, neither was he immediately himself. At this point he was still hooked up to various machines to monitor and aid his vital functions, and was full of very strong drugs, including an amnesiac which greatly hindered his short-term memory. ({\ul \i Note}: Critically injured patients are often given amnesiacs so they will not remember the extreme pain they experience during the first stages of recovery.)
       As is common among those who have suffered severe multiple injuries and been in comas and under heavy medication, Jesse only regained his full physical and mental faculties over a period of time. Thank you so much, dear Family, for continuing to pray for Jesse even after you heard the wonderful news that he was no longer in a coma. Your faithfulness to uphold Jesse in your prayers played a very big part in his overall recovery!
       Facing these battles for Jesse's life and recovery helped me to see that the Endtime is not an eventuality, it is now! I was reminded of these quotes from Mama which explain how the battles have changed now that the End is here, and how we will need more faith and more help from each other as we face harder tests to come:
       "Things come a lot more easily to us in many ways than they do to the rest of the world because of our faith, and because the Lord has blessed us with many victories and quick results, since He knows there is so much to do and so few of us to do it.
       "However, as we now come closer to the End and begin a new phase in the war, one that will be of much greater intensity and vehemence and ferocity, with all the forces of Hell throwing everything they have into their efforts to defeat us, we are going to have to learn more patience. We are going to have to learn how to endure! We are going to have to get used to fighting more long-term battles. We are going to have to learn what it means to really hold on, not just for one day or one week or one month, but perhaps for many months at a time. We are going to have to learn to truly cling to God's Word and endure hardness as good soldiers of Jesus Christ! (2Tim.2:3).
       "We are going to be involved in ... more protracted battles with afflictions and illnesses.... The Devil won't give up so easily, as he knows his time is short. And because we have come out full-force against him, he is going to respond in like manner.
       "Comparatively speaking, most of us have not had to learn such heavy lessons of patience and endurance. We have learned many other lessons, but now may be the time that the Lord wants us to work on these new ones. `For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. In your patience possess ye your souls' (Heb.10:36; Luke 21:19)" ("Endure Hardness," ML #2786:13-16, GN 515).

       Thursday, July 27: Between visits with Jesse today, I sat in the waiting room first with Charity and then teen John when they came in for check-ups. I asked John what Jesse was like, and he described him as a very energetic and responsible YA. He was on the Home teamworks in Toronto and New Orleans, and was always busy on outreach, doing schedules, driving, etc. John respects and loves his brother a lot!

More Progress! More Witnessing!
       Friday, July 28: Wonderful victories today! Jesse is doing better and better! It could be that with all the Family's prayer power, he will be ready to go home in several days! On every visit today, we could see the miracles unfold! Sandy, the head nurse, confirmed that Jesse is doing superbly! She said he has made more progress in several days than other patients in his shape would make in six months!
       Tonight he wrote his own name and his father's, and also read the time on John Mark's watch. We were amazed, and so was the doctor!
       Then he asked, "Are you guys gonna watch a video tonight? Can I have Jell-O? Juice? I'll take two quarter-pounders with cheese. And get one for her too," he said, nodding in my direction! He is hungry, but is still only on IV (intravenous) feeding. Physically, he is progressing miraculously!
       We have now read about six pages of Mama's Letter to him. Doing so in this busy ICU has not been easy, as nurses are with him a lot now. Still, we sing songs, pray and read aloud all we can.
       David, a male nurse assigned to the ICU, asked to talk to me this evening. He wanted to thank the Family for what they said on TV. Referring to statements the fathers made after the accident and at the funeral, he said, "What the fathers said really helped those of us here who were with the kids after the accident. It was hard for us to not ask God why He let that happen to them. We see violent criminals and the worst sort of people brought here for treatment. They survive and walk out of here, but these beautiful young girls died. That was hard on us. Thank you for your good attitude. It helped us all here." After I witnessed to him and explained more about the Family, he said, "I wish we had the faith that you all do."
       David also explained that Jesse's doctors put on his medical records that we should be the ones to tell Jesse about the girls dying in the accident. Normally that is done by nurses in the presence of a chaplain, but they recognized that we were better prepared to do that than they were. The staff are attracted to us and watch us out of interest. They are very helpful, receptive and sweet, and we are getting real close to them. They have such strenuous jobs that they really need Jesus!

Talk Time and Fellowship with Jesse
       Saturday, July 29: During the morning time with Jesse, he said some amazing things!
       When I told him Mama sent her love, he whispered, "Tell her those Letters are really really good!"
       "Jesus never fails," I told him.
       "But Jesse failed," was his reply.
       Although he said this, from other things he has said, it seems he did get the message about there being no need for any condemnation or fear, thank the Lord!
       He told John Mark, "I talked to Grandpa and he told me to keep fighting, that I am gonna be a new man."
       While talking about the accident he said, "Our teens are unprepared, unfulfilled!" (It seemed he was wanting to get a message to us that many of our teens need help.)
       "Did you bring the Letter? Do you have the paper with the request? Start where it says, My son ... " This was amazing, because it wasn't until the next day that we received Mama's second Letter to Jesse, in which she encourages him not to worry, to trust the Lord, fight the Enemy and catch the vision for the new job the Lord has for him. It started with, "To Jesse, my dear son ... " (See GN 652.) Wow! He actually asked for it and knew it was coming before we told him anything about it!
       When we arrived for our next visit, Jesse greeted us and then said, "I'm amazed at how well I'm healing up, but I have many things I wonder about."
       "Jesse, you made the right choice to come back and to fight for your healing," I assured him.
       "Yes," he answered, "I think about that a lot.... I need to make some good spiritual progress."
       He asked if his mom, Rose, is coming to see him, and John Mark told Jesse that she would come in about two weeks, Lord willing. John Mark is remarried to Hope, and Rose is helping to care for John Mark and Hope's youngest kids while Hope has a new baby. She's due any day.
       ({\ul \i Editor}'{\ul \i s note}: Hope had a beautiful baby girl, Rebecca, on August 4th. Praise the Lord!)
       I still have to tell Jesse who I am sometimes, as he doesn't always remember. The doctors gave him an amnesiac drug along with the morphine for pain, so he will not remember anything from the 10 days he was in a coma. Jesse is now off morphine, so he will start to remember things better.
       Our 5 to 7 P.M. visit with Jesse went well. Again, he seemed to be talking about things that he had learned or heard while in the Spirit World! As soon as we saw him he said, "I am so glad you came! I can't fight these voices alone when you are not here.... The Lord sent a lot of people to help. I asked for help, and the Lord even sent leaders to help me.... I made the right choice. I was of age to come here, I volunteered."
       Referring to having to be in the hospital and away from us, he tries to be brave and speak faith. "This is a real special place. Let's just look at it like that," he said.
       He is very polite and sweet. This was even evident while he was barely conscious, but more so now that he is recovering. When they give him a shot, he winces and says, "Ouch!" but then quickly adds, "Thank you."
       This evening he was very positive. We praised the Lord together, then later when his pain intensified he asked, "Can we praise the Lord together again?" A lot of what Jesse says at this point is a product of Mama's Letter and other things we have poured into him. He really speaks faith.
       One nurse told us that when we are not there he recites poetry. I explained that he is quoting the Bible. It is remarkable how everything that happens leads to a witness.
       Jesse ate his first solid meal of blended foods--and hated it! First he said, "I want flavor, please." We explained, "Jesse, the food isn't all that bad. It just tastes bad because of the medication you've been taking."
       He took another bite and, still trying to sound positive, said, "This is strange." Then he took another bite and said, "This is gross!" Then he took another bite and said, "This tastes like s__t!" Ha!
       Normally he wouldn't use that sort of language, of course, and we wouldn't encourage it, but in this situation it was great, because it showed how he was reacting like a normal teen to hospital food, and we just had to cheer him on!
       (Later:) Another time when we were coaxing him to eat his food, he asked, "If this food is so good, why aren't you guys eating it?" Ha!

Our "Other Sheep"
       Jesse has been moved to a ward with five other patients, so after visiting Jesse we go see Mexican Tomas and the nurses in ICU. We translate for Tomas what is happening with his brother Ramon. Actually, there are many Spanish-speaking patients and relatives here who only get things explained to them about twice a week by one nurse. Now the ICU nurses refer them to us, so we can help them too.
       (Latest on Ramon: The last time we saw Tomas, he told us that Ramon had been moved from ICU to an intermediate ward. The doctors still did not expect him to make a full recovery, but with God all things are possible [EDITED: "Mat.19:26"]. A beautiful victory out of this seeming defeat is that dear Tomas prayed with us to receive Jesus into his heart. He is reading his Bible, holding on to the verses that we marked in it for him, and trusting the Lord for his brother. Please pray for him and Ramon.)
       Ira (father of teen Victoria, who died in the accident) shared the following testimony about Rhonda, the manager at the Ronald House who has been so sweet to us. Rhonda told the parents of other hospitalized children who are staying there, "Here I am, supposedly a grief counselor, and these Family people have been encouraging me! Whatever grief they experienced has been swallowed up by their faith. You don't need to talk to me, talk to them. They can help you a lot!" She teared up when the Family donated a set of our children's videos to the Ronald House.
       Those of us on the staff team are hopping from one provisioned hotel to another, staying in a different place each night. I get dropped off at the Ronald House each morning, and after that I spend the day with John Mark, John and Jesse, then we go for a provisioned dinner. Tonight Ira is joining us. He does clowning and makes balloons into cute colorful animal shapes for kids. Today he was teaching John Mark how to do it in their few minutes of free time. These guys are so resourceful! They're just full of energy and great witnessing ideas!
       Today the nurses said Jesse may need to go from here to a rehabilitation hospital, where we could learn to help him with exercises to regain movement. John Mark plans to stay here till Jesse is settled in a Home and has other Family caretakers.

Attacks, Victories andthe Joy of the Lord
       Sunday, July 30: (Two weeks after the accident.) The Lord supplied another place to stay, this time at a five-star hotel, and four of us took the morning off for Word and rest. Shortly after noon, John Mark phoned us to explain that there had been an accident at the hospital that morning. Before John Mark arrived for the 11 A.M. visit, two nurses had dropped Jesse to the floor while trying to move him from his bed to his chair. He hit his head and hurt his back, and needed x-rays. The ordeal had apparently shaken Jesse quite a bit and left him somewhat fearful. The nurses also reported that he was awake in the night, calling for his dad, somewhat incoherent, and trying to escape, so they had to strap him to his bed. He is not at all like that when we are with him, so he must have had bad dreams. Obviously the Enemy has not given up his fight for dear Jesse! Also, the medication that Jesse continues to receive no doubt makes him more vulnerable to terrors by night.
       We all felt like we really needed to seek the Lord for Jesse together, and since we couldn't see him again till 5 P.M., John Mark, Ira and teen John joined us at the hotel for a very strengthening afternoon of prayer, Word and communion.
       The 5 P.M. visit with Jesse was excellent! He didn't seem to have any bad memories of the accident this morning, thank the Lord! He even laughed at his dad's funny impromptu rap song about why he needed to eat his food, after which he ate better. When I asked him my name today, he said, "You are Auntie All-Right, Auntie OK!" Jesse has given me a different name every day. First I was Auntie Terrific, then Auntie Al Donza Dulcinea, then today Auntie All-Right.
       (Later: One day he finally said, "Of course I know your name! You're Auntie Sara and you've been here all along!")
       On an earlier visit, one of the nurses had given John Mark a brochure which explained, among other things, that it is important not to laugh at patients who have had brain injuries like Jesse suffered, as that could upset and frustrate them. However, the Lord gave us the verse, "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine" (Pro.17:22). We laugh together with Jesse and he responds positively.
       Also, the Lord is strengthening us and our teamworking by giving us a lot of His joy (Neh.8:10). Sometimes others even seem to find it strange that we are so happy in Him, considering Jesse's battered state. At any rate, we have been having a great time laughing and praising the Lord and singing all together. Jesse has responded beautifully, first smiling and now laughing along with us!
       There is a young man in a bed across the room from Jesse who fell from a 50-foot cliff while rock climbing and broke his back. He just lies there watching us care for Jesse. Tonight he motioned us over to talk and said, "I've been watching you care for your son. I just wish my parents had given me a fraction of the attention and love that I see you give your boy. Both of my parents were alcoholics." We witnessed to him and encouraged him that he can be a loving parent to his 22-month-old daughter who comes to visit him with his wife. His reply was, "Yes, I believe that God spared me so that I could be a good parent to my girl, like I see you being to your son."
       After the visit and a provisioned take-out dinner, we took time for fellowship and watched a video at the hotel. Ira is leaving tomorrow to join his family who had left Austin earlier, so we also had a nice little farewell for him. We were very grateful for the time together and a chance to get away from the heavy situations we face almost constantly.

Next: Therapy and Home!
       Tuesday, August 1: It was a very busy day, as we needed to arrange for Jesse's transfer to the rehabilitation wing of this hospital. He had several therapy tests to see how he is faring. John Mark applied for Jesse's social security benefits today, and they gave Jesse a five-day free stay in the rehab section of this same hospital. He'll have a private room, and one male Family member can stay with him all night to help. Lord willing, after five days of therapy, he can go to a Home in Houston. We are thrilled with these answers to prayer.
       Rebecca (22) will be with him for his rehab exercises so she can learn how to help him recover. Incidentally, Rebecca also helped nurse Sarah YA when she was recently hospitalized for a month with a rare nervous disorder. (See the original prayer request for Sarah in PL 24:120 and her healing testimony in PL 27 and HOPE 65.)

More Tests, More Victories!
       Thursday, August 3: (From Esther David:) We have a little schedule now for our times with Jesse, though all of us love being with him and usually stay longer than our set times. Jesse is doing wonderfully, the best we've seen so far. Today he looked so good and retained his grasp on things very well all day. He did not lose his awareness or lapse in his conversation once throughout my time with him. (He is still gradually overcoming the effects of the heavy drugs he's been given, but is doing better and better each day.)
       Jesse did very well throughout today's therapy, which began at 7 A.M. and went on until 3 P.M., with several 20-minute breaks. Dear Rebecca stays with him throughout his therapy, learning the routines. She has a wonderful, sweet way about her, which the Lord is able to really use in this situation.
       All day today Jesse was doing the best he's done yet, retaining a sharp awareness and reacting like his YA self. Up till now, to save him from unnecessary strain, our communication has been rather simple, and he's appreciated the type of comfort and affection that would normally be given to a younger person. But today, though he was very polite and not obvious about it, I was happy to see he began reacting to that like YAs might do when someone is being too motherly, ha! I was thrilled with today's inspiring progress!

       Saturday, August 5: (From Rose Secretary:) Jesse has continued to make steady progress. When they moved Jesse into the rehab section of the hospital he was rated six on a scale of one-to-eight (one being a deep comatose state not much worse than his original condition, and eight being what we consider normal). So he's come a long, long way, praise the Lord! Each day Jesse takes giant steps in regaining his short-term memory and becoming more clear in his thinking and understanding of his situation.

Jesse Is Home!
       Houston, Thursday, August 10: (Three and a half weeks after the accident.) (From Sharon:) Jesse was released from the hospital two days ago and transported to Houston in a van with reclining bucket seats. By then he had taken some of his first steps with a walker, though he can't put any weight on the leg which was broken. That leg is not in a cast, but in a padded brace that can come off so his wounds can be dressed.
       Jesse was reunited with the other teens from the accident, and Rebecca YA is continuing to help with his therapy and nursing. Every day Jesse practices on his guitar as part of his therapy. His left arm and hand still don't work normally, so Rebecca and others play cards and board games with him--anything to force him to use his left hand. Even these simple exercises are very exhausting for him.
       It is clear from the prophecies received for Jesse that he knew all about the accident while his spirit was in the Spirit World and his body was in the coma. However, when he came out of the coma, it took a while for the drugs to wear off and for his mind to return to normal. Although we had been over the details of the accident many times, Jesse didn't communicate to us that he fully understood all that had happened until yesterday, August 9th, when John Mark and I reread to him Mama's first Letter. (See "No Condemnation," ML #3008, GN 646.) This time he really got it and took the news very graciously. He said that the fact that he does not remember the accident seems to be the Lord's way of helping him not to have to think about it. As with everyone else involved in the accident, the Lord has marvelously taken care of each tender emotion.
       Concerning the deaths of the teens and the woman in the other car, Jesse is able to accept it all by faith. The Lord has cast a veil of grace over him so that he accepts it without condemnation, guilt or sorrow. The Lord has answered the Family's prayers for him by bathing him in grace and trust. Praise the Lord! Wonderful!

Friends Continue to Lend Support
       When it became necessary for another lawyer to take over our legal case, dear Valerie, who has put in many, many hours of free work for us, wrote him a large check to cover his expenses and fees. In the past, Valerie hired several Family members to work as secretaries in her legal office in order to help them raise their fares to the mission field. She told the other lawyer, "If you ever need a `temp secretary,' hire someone from the Family. They're the best!"
       Last night dear Brother Thomas visited Jesse and the survivors team. He sang some beautiful hymns to them, accompanied on his guitar, and had special prayer for each one. As he was leaving, Brother Thomas asked Jesse if he had a verse to share with him and Jesse replied, "He doeth all things well!" (Mark 7:37).

Survivors Testify!
       Teens Stephen and Juan David went on the Stand Up for Jesus TV show to testify about the Lord's miraculous protection in the accident and what they learned from it, after which viewers were invited to phone in. The boys then answered the calls, and witnessed more in depth. The Stand Up for Jesus staff said that program had the best telephone response of any show they have ever had!
       Right after testifying on TV and phone, Juan David suddenly felt paralyzed, like he was having a stroke! He was about to sit down to have dinner with Brother Thomas and the others at the time, but couldn't hold his cup or fork, or find his chair. He rebuked the Devil and his lying vanities, and was immediately healed! Praise the Lord!

Celebrating the Lord's Goodness!
       Houston, Friday, August 11: The Lord had a very special surprise in store for the survivors today. Charity and her teens, who are staying across town, had come to the Home where the injured teens are staying. This was the first time that all of the survivors had been together since the first ones moved to Houston two-and-a-half weeks before.
       We were just gathering for a special "Praise-the-Lord" celebration when the phone rang. The call was from the teens in Toronto, Canada, where some of the surviving teens had lived before. They happened to be having a get-together of their own at exactly the same time, and decided to call the Houston Home to encourage the survivors! Wasn't that precious? What a Family!
       After the phone call and a round of extra special songs and praises, each of the survivors shared what they were most thankful for. You can imagine the emotion and meaning of such a praise meeting, as we recounted all the miracles that the Lord had done in answer to the Family's prayers! When it was Jesse's turn to say what he was most thankful for, he said with a smile, "Life!"

       (Update from Abi in Houston: The teens from the Austin accident are totally healed and doing terrific, and now an intricate part of helping to produce the Stand Up for Jesus show! Jesse is walking around normally, with only a slight limp. And talking with him and watching him in action, you would hardly even know he was just recently in such a serious accident. Although Jesse does not have a clear recollection of all that took place in Austin, he definitely knows that the Lord did something very special in his life. He has been helping with camera work, together with Juan David, who had been in a coma with a serious head injury from the accident. Jesse's brother, John, is learning lighting and audio at the studio, while Steven is helping with filming and editing. The whole "Austin team" are a real blessing and real answer to our prayers. Praise the Lord!)
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I Felt Loved from All Sides!
       (Editor's note: Several weeks after he returned to Houston, YA David S. wrote the following reaction to his time in Austin:)
       First of all, I'd like to say that I was really impressed at how brave the immediate families of the girls that went to be with the Lord were during this whole time. It was a sample to me of trusting the Lord and literally and completely forsaking their loved ones without any bitterness. On top of all that, these dear parents and brothers and sisters immediately started going to bat for the Family by witnessing and facing the media, really trying to make it a positive witness and reach as many as they could. Thank You Jesus!
       From the very beginning, they saw the good fruit that the Lord wanted to come from the whole situation and verbalized it, even though at the time it must have looked like their darkest hour. This all made me feel like the sweet man (John H.) who showed up at the funeral and said, I came to try to
comfort these people, but instead they comforted me. So the Lord knew how to pick His team!
       Another thing that really touched me was how sweet and loving and trusting the teens that survived were. They were always preferring their brother and even preferring us (the people who were trying to help them) over themselves. This really broke my heart and convicted me. I could immediately see these teens love for the Lord and the Family; it was such a pure, simple and trusting love. I feel that the love that we helpers received from the teens is what helped us to do our job of helping them. They were just completely trusting. I felt loved from all sides: from the Lord, from the teens and from the other Family members that I was working with. I really saw how love can make things go so much smoother, even in a hectic situation like that. Those loving principles have always been in the Word, of course, but this situation helped me see pure love in action.
       Also, this situation made me so thankful for the Family. Even the nurses and doctors were very impressed. I realized once again that everyone in the Family would be willing to give their lives for one another. Growing up in the Family, I've heard that said a lot, and in some ways I've gotten familiar with those words. But through this situation I realized again what it really means to give your life for others, and that's made me so thankful to be in the Family. Words can't express it, but now when I go to bed at night, after the business of the day wears off, I'm left with the memory of the great measure of love I saw during my time in Austin, how I felt a step closer to Heaven and the life-changing experience it was for me. I never want to forget those lessons. I pray I can keep the perspective I had of things during that time. Everything else just seemed so small and insignificant, and the trials I was having previously seemed so stupid and didn't matter any more. I pray I can continue to put the Lord and others before myself.
       I also feel that it was good that this happened soon after the Charter came out, because I really saw the kind of love the Charter is talking about. It was so sweet of Peter to personally come and comfort all. He's such a sample of the Lord's Love. When I looked into his eyes I could see the same spirit that I see in Dad's eyes in the pictures we have of him, that same love and warmth. Praise the Lord! I love you!
       Love, David S.

Copyright 1996 The Family